Dopey Challenge 2015

Dopey Challenge 2015

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Running 48.6 miles is no joke. Running it in four days divided into a 5k (3.1 miles) a 10k (6.2 miles) a half marathon (13.1 miles) and a marathon (26 miles) is just plain gruelling.

I was pretty excited about Disney Marathon Weekend and the Dopey challenge until the day before it all started. That’s when the doubt started to kick in. I didn’t train enough, I have a couple of injuries that I’ve ignored and worst of all… I still have to my work AND get up at 3am!!!

Am I going to finish? Can I get through 48.6 miles without making my injuries worse? Will I sleep through the 5 alarms I have set?

Well, I’m very to report, I finished. I had a great time and while the injuries are still there, they didn’t get any worse and I’m ready to sign up for Dopey 2016.

Here’s a quick run down of the four days.

Day 1 – 5k

Pluto’s 5k was the c-o-l-d-e-s-t run I have done in a long time! Mother Nature wanted to test the runners and see how they did with 20 mph winds and temps in the 30’s /40’s.

I’m Canadian. I “should” be able to handle this type of weather – nope. I was shaking and shivering like a Chihuahua! I wore 4 layers….4.  From all of the shivering and shaking, I was exhausted later that day. I mean, exhausted. The 5k route is by far my favourite. Running through World Showcase is just fantastic. I love it!! There were some great characters along the route. We said that we weren’t going to do any character pictures but then we saw Chip n Dale in Japan. Picture time!! Because they were wearing kimonos!!!!!

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Chip and Dale in Japan wearing kimonos!!

Post race, we had the Runners World race retreat and it was awesome. I highly recommend getting the race retreat for marathon weekend/Dopey challenge. We finished and went right to the warm tent for hot coffee and hot food. We were able to sit, relax and get a few character pics!

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Selfie with Bart Yasso -Runner’s World Chief Running Officer

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Max and Goofy!!

Day 2 – 10k

Oh hello 3am –what an unpleasant time you are, even if you’re going to Disney.

Another crazy cold morning. I had a cute outfit planned and it was tossed aside for warmth! I wore 3 layers, so it was better…but still, I was wearing 3 layers! Burr(ows).  There were no crazy cold winds, so stopping to characters was doable! I didn’t push myself to get a PR because I wanted to save my legs/feet for the half and the full. Now mind you, it was cold so I did pick up my pace to get through the course so I could get to that awesome race retreat to warm up.

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Bathroom selfie!

 

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10k in the books!

Day 3 – Half Marathon 13.1 miles

Dear 3am, I hate you. You would think I’d get the hang of this by now, but no such luck. Another cold morning, another cute outfit planned and scrapped. Yes…running is about the cute outfits. Don’t judge. I did manage to only need 2 layers…progress!! Seeing all of the costumes people wear is always fun. I love that runners put effort in to make this a total experience.

Another reason I love runDisney events is because that running community is a lot of fun and supportive. I love seeing familiar faces or people I interact with online.

I had a plan for this run. No stopping for pics in the dark, those pictures never turn out. Going off track for a sec, so stay with me…I use to do these runDisney events and blast through them always chasing a new PR. I never had a character picture or any pics from the course just the memories in my head. This last year I have realized it is important to stop and ‘smell the roses’. Take pics with friends, characters, the Castle, everything! This is an experience run…enjoy it!!! If you are chasing a PR do local runs at home. Some of the best pics I have are from runs and some of the best conversations and laughs I have had are during runs. Get the full experience not just the post run medal pic.

Ok, back on track. I love this course. Running down Main Street USA and having people chEAR you on, running towards the castle is just a-m-a-z-i-n-g!! If you don’t have a bucket list, then put one together and add a runDisney run to that list!!!

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No matter what…you ALWAYS stop for Mickey!

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Fun with friends – DON’T TOUCH THE CART!! @dave_mari @bamagirlruns

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Running 13.1 miles was worth getting you medal Donald!

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Cinderella & Prince Charming selfie…check!

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“Ferb, I know what we are going to do today…” oh hey, where’s Perry??!!

I felt good for this run. It was cold but it was manageable. Seeing familiar faces along the course route gives you that added boost to keep going! Stopping for character pics with friends is just fun! I felt like I was on autopilot with this run. I knew not to push hard because I needed all that I had for the marathon. The sun was out and it had warmed up but it wasn’t crazy hot so I was thankful for that! I finished and felt good and again. Back over to race retreat to unwind, fuel up.Have I mentioned race retreat is a really great thing to do?

Day 4 – Full marathon 26.2 miles

I was fortunate to stay at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando located on property at Walt Disney World. I still had to get up early 2:45am. We were going to take the bus but at the last minute decided to drive and knew we had to leave early because of the roads being busy and some of them shut down for the race. The Waldorf and Hilton Bonnet Creek do special runDisney race weekend packages and part of the package is a pre race send off party.

Now this is how you do 3am. I wasn’t hating it as much.

They had ever kind of drink (hot/cold) bars, bagels, fruit. The staff was energetic and gave their all to pump up these tired runners! It was quite the send off and I highly recommend it if you are doing a run. I did write more about it here.

We arrived early…ugh. Race retreat is open before the half marathon and marathon. We did our bag check, sat down and got ourselves put together.

I don’t mean to go on about the race retreat BUT another big feature is they have their own sets of porta-potties. That means you don’t have to wait in a line of 50 people to use the potty. They have people their keeping them clean-so that means there is always toilet paper, hand sanitizer.

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Runners World Race Retreat Potties – no lines!

We stayed in there until they kicked us out. (Race retreat, not the porta-potties.)  It was another cold morning, but I did manage to wear a cute outfit (but I had a jacket on). I had planned to give it to a friendly face along the race route to hold for me when I got warm. The plan was simple – slow and steady. No stopping for characters in the dark! Miles 1-13 seemed effortless-autopilot kicked in.

Mile 14 is when you need your mind to kick in and stay strong for the remaining 13 miles. I saw friends just outside of Animal Kingdom! Hello Kelly Christine!

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My fellow Disney Parks Mom’s Panelist, Laura gave me a diet coke – love her for having food and drinks on hand.

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My family was just up ahead and when I saw them it was the best thing!! I needed those hugs. We snapped a few selfies and I grabbed some snacks from them and we were on our way.

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The run along Osceloa Parkway into ESPN Wide World Of Sports is looooonng and boring. This is when you need great music or great conversations with your running partner. Thankfully, runDisney and Cigna provide the music and Bama provides the conversation.

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Coming out of Wide World of Sports is mile 20. The Dreaded Wall…and oddly I felt fine. Mentally I knew it was almost over. My feet were beyond sore, I mean stabby sore but I pushed on. The run up the ramp towards Hollywood Studios back entrance is another long, boring stretch. That’s when I needed to buck up and keep telling myself I was in single digits and its almost over! Got to see some familiar faces at Hollywood Studios so that was fun.

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Glad to see @Jeff_EMT 

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“The Hat” was still there!!!

Then it started raining…come on Mother Nature. My family was on the boardwalk in front of the Yacht and Beach Club so I knew seeing them again would give me the last blast I needed. Hugs and kisses and them telling me they were proud was all I needed to finish up. The rain kept coming and got harder while we were in World Showcase. I got a soggy pic with Duffy. He was brave standing in the rain, he did smell like wet fur and sweaty runner though…lol.

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The gospel choir was there again at mile 26 –praise the Lord and Hallelujah, I made it!!

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It was a fun 4 days and Im ready to sign up for 2016 #perfectDopey

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Now I lay me down to sleep…

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See ya real soon – 2016 Dopey Challenge #PerfectDopey

 

 

The story of your life…an adventure or tragedy?! You’re writing it.

“Too soon we get old and too late we get smart.” #truth

My mother use to say that to me every time I messed up and like most teenagers, I never paid much attention to it, but obviously those words stayed with me and sunk in and now I repeat those same words.

January is a tough month. The holiday aftermath of excessive eating and the realization that you spent too much. Year after year, people keep repeating the same kind of behaviour…you know you have.

I always try to write things to inspire, motivate and encourage you to be the best you. I will be your biggest cheerleader but, in the end, as always the action comes down to you.

What are you willing to do to make change happen?

Your goals need to be clear. The end results and how you get there are up to you. You can’t blame anyone, or your circumstances.

If you want change you have to make change happen. Yes, you might have some set backs but again, its on you to regroup and charge forward. That’s the difference between being a biggest loser and a biggest winner!

dont be pushed by problems

I’ll  give you some examples because a few of you will think this pep talk doesn’t apply to you.

One bad meal is not the reason you are carrying extra weight. It’s a lot of bad meals. One bad meal means you have to reset. You smarten up, drink your water and make better choices the next meal.

Skipping your favourite exercise class has not got you where you.  Ignoring exercise or half-assing your work outs and treating them like a social get together has quadrupled the time to change.  Winners don’t complain about being too tired….they workout that day even though they are exhausted. (You ate it now negate it!)

Your credit cards aren’t at the max because you spent a bit too much at Christmas. It’s consistent shopping that got you there. You didn’t pay down your debt before adding more debt.

 

3 choices

Beating yourself up, feeling guilty, sad, mad won’t fix any of your problems.

I posted this question/statement on Facebook  “It’s our choices that make us fat, not McDonalds. Do you agree or disagree?”

Most people replied that they agreed. Why is it easy to acknowledge that question but you cave when it’s time to make the decision of good vs bad? You know right from wrong.

Worry drains the mind of much of its power and sooner or later it injuries the soul.”

You owe it to yourself to be the best you. Why settle? Why go through life always wishing things were different.

  • It’s 2015. Be a “doer”!  Do the things that will make you and your life incredible.
  • Excess weight, literally weighs you done–be done with fighting that battle.
  • Worry, anger, negativity is not who you are.
  • Go into today, this week, this month and year ahead with a different mindset.

2015 is another chapter in the book of your life. You control the story, the character, the adventures and you write the ending.

Life is like a book - Life Quotes - Inspirational Quotes

I would love to hear from you, what topics, subjects can I write about to help you in your journey. Leave me a comment.

 

Is cheating ok?

The weekend is almost here and that’s when so many people go off the rails with their eating and ignore their workouts becuase y’all think you need a break or a reward for a long week at work.

Could you imagine the horror that you would experience if your son or daughter came home from school and announced, “Hey Mom, I got a really good mark on my test at school today! I cheated on a couple of the questions to help me out.”

Or how about the feeling you’d have if your spouse said, “Honey, I met this fantastic lady today and we shared a kiss. Just a little one. Only for a few minutes.”

I’m pretty sure that none of you would like to hear those kinds of statements anytime.  Cheating is cheating.  Even if it a little bit of a cheat.  The bottom line is that cheating is wrong.

We all can agree on that.

But why are so many people fine with cheating on themselves?

Why do we justify that little piece of cake or the half a bag of chips when we have made a commitment to ourselves to lose weight?

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Reward meals / cheat meals are what get people to the place where they are when they decide they need to change.
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Weight loss or changing your lifestyle isn’t about hanging onto the past. It’s about creating a new way of life and thinking.
Why would you reward yourself with garbage, or calories?  One cheat meal become a cheat day and then a cheat day becomes a few more cheats during the week and soon, all the bad comes back in.
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It’s like breaking up with that guy when you were in your 20’s and then continuing to try it again because “He’s changed” and all you end up doing is wasting more time while Mr Right walks past you and you don’t notice.

Why is it ok when we go out to dinner and order the drenched in butter or creamy sauce entrée do we tell ourselves, “Its no big deal.  This little cheat won’t hurt me.”

The problem isn’t that little cheat.  It’s the justifications (excuses) that we make to ourselves that it’s just this one time.  It won’t ever happen again.  We can have this little something tonight, but tomorrow, we’ll get right back on the straight and narrow.

 

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The reality is that you are cheating on yourself and one little treat leads to a bigger cheat, which leads to a cheat day, which turns into a cheat week and pretty soon, you’ve forgotten all about your original goals.

The same is true when you ditch a workout for your favourite TV show or even when you do commit to showing up but you only give 50%.  You’re cheating on yourself.

Remember what our parents used to tell us? “Cheaters never prosper.”  Well, your parents were right.  Sure the first few cheats may not hurt you, but I can guarantee that they won’t help you either.

Do yourself a favour; don’t cheat on yourself.  You wouldn’t accept it from the people around you, so why accept it from yourself?

Don’t waste time, don’t cheat…just commit to the goal, the new you.

What is a “racecation” and how to do it right

Running and vacations don’t usually go hand in hand, but that old school thinking has come under attack lately and there are a few companies doing what they can to change your thinking. The new trend of booking a race and tying it into your vacation plans has become the thing to do and I LOVE IT!

Booking yourself into a race ‘out of town’ has a tendency to deepen your commitment to your training. Booking a race that your whole family can come and cheer you on? Well that is a memory you won’t soon forget!

Here’s the beauty of a ‘racecation’.

  1. You get the physical challenge of doing your run.
  2. You get the post run relaxation in style.
  3. You share it all with your family.
  4. Your family gets to celebrate your huge accomplishment and have their own fun!  “Win-Win”

I just completed runDisney’s Dopey Challenge as part of their Marathon Weekend. 4 days of running for a total of 48.6 miles!

Getting ready to get my runDisney Dopey mugshot

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We were fortunate to stay at the stunning Waldorf Astoria Orlando as part of their own style of celebrating  #MarathonWeekends. The Waldorf and Hilton Bonnet Creek guests are treated to a race weekend like no other.

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Let’s start with having a “race concierge”—whhaat??!! Yes, someone dedicated to answer all of your race and stay questions. They made sure you knew the bus times, the send off party, bus pick up locations and knew them well beyond ‘looking in a race brochure’ for the right answers. For anyone nervous or for first time runners, this is such a great service to have. If you needed things, they were there to help get you the answers. It was such a great add-on!

We had to get up at 3am everyday to make the bus over to the race site. You know, make-up, hair, primping and the such don’t happen magically even when your hanging your hat at Disney World! The runs started at 530am (so painful!!) Do you know what wakes you up at that unearthly hour…a pre race send off party!!! That’s right, they give the runners a send off party!!!!

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Note: this is 3am and the staff are fired up for us!!

Before the half marathon and full marathon, you could get your coffee/tea, water, fruit, bagel, granola bars, muffins. You name it they had it! Take a bar for the bus ride or to eat while you’re waiting in your corral.

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Lots of pre race fuel options!

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coffee…need I say more?!

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Every kind of tea you could imagine #options

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Carbs!!!!

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Water options – flat or sparkling!

They had staff their cheering, dancing and helping us wake up to get our game faces on to run the races! The staff and their energy were out of this world and it was so appreciated at that time of the morning!!

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Its not a 3am pre race party until someone puts on a blue wig!!

The transportation to and from the races is also provided as part of #MarathonWeekends – there are no  long lines or waiting for the 4th or 5th bus outside. You wait in the lobby have some coffee and water then get on the bus. It’s all very civilized…it was wonderful!

They had this awesome banner to do pics in front of!!

You can always be number one with Marathon Weekends.

You can always be number one with Marathon Weekends.

Obligatory 'selfie'

Obligatory ‘selfie’

This is where I spent my post run time after the temperature went up…ahhhhhhh

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Blue skies and warm water.

I wish I had longer to visit, I would’ve loved to been able to get a round of golf in. This is great option for the golfer in your family and makes everyone’s stay more memorable.

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My girls really got into enjoying this “racecation”. They HAD to wear the robes and slippers!! After a long day at the parks they needed to unwind, haha!

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The race experience provided by The Waldorf Astoria Orlando and the Hilton Bonnet Creek is by far the best I’ve had the pleasure to take part in. Beautiful accommodations (I slept like a champ), amenities (amazing golf, pool, lazy river, spa) incredible on property restaurants (Oscars for breakfast was spectacular).

One other option that deserves a notable mention is the in room coffee. Yes, the in room coffee…Nespresso machine. The coffee addict in me was beyond thrilled to have a really good cup of coffee and not leave my room. Sometimes the attention to finer details is all that it takes.

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If you are looking at booking a future runDisney race, you have to consider staying on property at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando or Hilton Bonnet Creek.

You will not be disappointed and it will be an experience that will be hard to top!

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Now I lay me down to sleep…with my medals and aching feet!

4 days, 48.6 miles, 6 medals = incredible time.

Thanks to everyone who cheered me on and supported all the runners. I can’t tell you how awesome it is when strangers cheer and ‘holla’ your effort.

Marathon Weekends are available for these runDisney events:

  • Princess Half Marathon Weekend
  • Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend
  • Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.

    Is this kind of selfie called a 'mousie'?

    Is this kind of selfie called a ‘mousie’?

Even if you’re not running a race, these are fantastic on property resorts and I highly recommend you book your stay here.

Good night

Good night

Full Disclosure: The Waldorf Astoria Orlando graciously hosted me for two nights. I was not required to write this blog post. I wrote this because it was one of the best running/racecation experiences I have had. If you are a regular reader, you know I only write about what I believe in and what I can fully support. I plan on booking another racecation with the Waldorf Orlando / Hilton Bonnet Creek because of what they do as a part of their #MarathonWeekends

 

 

 

It will all be worth it!

I know there are times that I rant about things or get on my soap box and preach to you all about what not to do.  I do this for a couple of reasons. One being, that I want / need you guys to be informed. Second reason is because, I have been where you are. When I ask you to listen (ok, sometimes I beg you / tell you) it is because I actually do know what I am talking about.

Some of my blog posts are meant to get you fired up.  They are meant to motivate you.  Some are to get you thinking or re-thinking about your fitness and food.

If you take nothing away from what I say this is what I want you to know.

If you get fit and healthy, I mean finally take control of your weight you will:

  • not feel uncomfortable and insecure all the time
  • be able to wear anything
  • be able to walk around and “not feel fat”
  • be able to wear a bathing suit without a cover up
  • be able to prove to yourself and everyone else that you are strong enough to do anything

If you don’t lose those extra pounds and keep putting weight on, this is what will happen or continue to happen:

  • you won’t fit into your jeans or any cute pants
  • you will never feel comfortable in a bathing suit
  • you will have a stomach that droops over your pants
  • you will feel self-conscious
  • you will continue to beat yourself up
  • you will not have the energy or the strength to live a long and energetic life
  • you will cut your life short.  That’s a big one!

This is what I know…it’s not theory.

Those lists could’ve been much longer.  This is what I know, because that is where I was.  I’m not just giving you what I think.  I’ve been there.

Here is something else that you need to read to get your head in the game (yes, High School Musical reference).  It will be tough at times to eat right and to drag yourself to exercise. It will require dedication and willpower.  It will require total effort. It will call for you to suck it up and stay strong

BUT, I promise that when you reach your goal…IT WILL BE WORTH IT!!

 

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If you stayed at your current weight, would you be happy?

Here is my question to you, please feel free to answer it or leave a comment below.

If you stayed at your current weight would you be happy?

Could you go through the next 30,40, 50 years in the shape you are right now and be happy?

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Where some might think that your physical appearance should not be tied to your happiness or state of mind, I say different. So many people are consumed…yes, comsumed with unhappy thoughts because they are over weight and out of shape. When I was at my heaviest (225lbs) there were days that all I could think about was how much happier I would be if I could just lose weight. Then there were days that all I could think about was which decadent food could I eat next. It was a viscious cycle and I am still tormented by it today.

If you aren’t willing to make some sacrifices then you need to make peace that you are where you are and your weight will not change. In fact, and this is not to fear monger but to open your eyes…your weight will go up. Getting older and not being active means you slow down. Your hormones are involved (menopause) your metabolism slows to a grinding halt, add in stress and you have a recipe for obesity.

What will your life look like in a year, 2 years or 5 years if you continue to do nothing?

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I guarantee…I mean I guarantee that if you start to put focus on your health you will feel better, you will stop feeling fat, ugly and miserable. Today is your day. Monday is the start of a new week…you get to start doing something-anything that will help you get into shape.

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If you do nothing and keep doing nothing you will be unhappy…plain and simple. The emotional side of being overweight is so mentally taxing but aside from that you are taking years off of your life…which is a fact. Why would you want to do that?

Today is your day. Today is the day that you will make healthy choices and do some real physical activity.

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